Everything About White Guinea Pig

White guinea pigs are so attractive that you may think of buying them when looking for a new pet to add to your family.

However, there are many things hidden behind that beautiful white coat. You should know everything about white guinea pigs before considering them.

Some white guinea pigs are due to compromised genes that result from breeding two guinea pigs with recessive genes.

Two carriers mating together give offspring a 25% chance of becoming lethal white. Also, not all white guinea pigs are lethal white.

Read on to find out all the information you need before you take white guinea pigs home.

Are White Guinea Pigs Rare?

Yes. White guinea pigs are rare, and their existence in the wild is even questionable. They have limited capability to hide from predators, and the occurrence of the gene combination is also rare.

In many cases, guinea pigs are chocolate, red, black, golden, buff, cream, lilac, white, beige, slate, or a combination of these colors.

You will rarely find a guinea pig with plain white fur. Also, some hair colors are commonly seen in other species because of the dominant traits that determine pigmentation.

Some guinea pigs with pure white colors are also albino, though albinism is rare in guinea pigs.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Have White?

Plain white guinea pigs are rare. The traits are inherited from both parents, and only the dominant traits manifest in many cases.

Dominant traits determine the color of the eye, hair length, pigmentation, among other properties. The homozygotes with recessive genes that hinder pigmentation are white.

Some guinea pig breeds are known to have plain white fur. Himalayan, Merino, and Lunkarya guinea pigs are often white. Others may have some guinea pigs with color combinations.

White Spotting Gene

The white spotting on guinea pigs and other pets is due to an incompletely recessive gene. Guinea pigs that are homozygous for this gene show different densities of white spots on the body.

They may have a Dutch pattern with a white collar, blaze, and feet. The heterozygous guinea pigs have more white colors on the face and feet.

The white spotting genes will manifest in white patches on the pig right from birth and are non-progressive. Fortunately, pups with these genes reach their potential and life expectancy.

Color Dilution Genes

The color dilution gene was discovered in Denmark and was imported into the US. In a layman’s language, it leads to gradual loss of original color when guinea pigs with dominant normal pigment genes breed with another having the color dilute genes.

For instance, a dilution factor responsible for pink eye will dilute black to lilac and chocolate to beige. It also changes dark eye pigment to pink.

A known color dilution gene in guinea pigs can reduce pigmentation in the hair, resulting in a white appearance. Avoid breeding two known carriers to avoid the gene from expressing itself on the trait.

Color dilution genes in guinea pigs have no known health-related problems. They grow and live to their potential.

True albinism

Albino guinea pigs have plain white fur and sometimes ark nose, ears, and feet. As opposed to a common belief, albino is not a guinea pig breed.

It is a genetic condition that affects melanin pigmentation. That means they won’t have any color on their hair.

The life expectancy of albino guinea pigs is shorter than normal guinea pigs. They live for about 3 years. That is attributed to deformities that they may have. Some are born blind in one or both eyes and suffer hearing loss.

Albino guinea pigs are more fragile and require more time to maintain. You have to check them and take them to a vet as frequently as possible to make them live longer.

Lethal White Genes

All lethal white guinea pigs have plain white fur and have red eyes, but some are pink-eyed. They are born without skin pigmentation, resulting in their unique appearance.

Lethal white genes are recessive and manifest in the offspring only if two roan guinea pigs with them breed. The lethal white syndrome in guinea pigs is a health condition leading to a short lifespan.

They do not live as long as healthy ones, usually a few months or a couple of years.

The lethal white syndrome occurs from recessive genes in roans and dalmatians. The newborns with this syndrome have deformities, ranging from small body size to blindness.

You are advised not to breed two roans or dalmatians to avoid lethal white syndrome.

Everything about White Guinea Pig

White guinea pigs are cute and attract many pet fanciers. However, they are more prone to health-related problems and require more care and maintenance.

As a pet owner, you should know how well to provide for your white guinea pig to extend its life expectancy.

White Guinea Pig Temperament

Guinea pigs generally have outgoing personalities. They get along with the people around them once the bond is established.

Some may become great friends with other pets around the house. You can interact with guinea pigs as much as you want because they are very social animals.

As it stands, there is no relationship between guinea pigs’ temperament and coat color. Provided they have all their senses and are not deformed in any way, they can be as happy as any other guinea pigs, even if they are white.

However, blindness and loss of hearing related to albinism or lethal white genes can change the behavior of guinea pigs. They will be nervous when someone or foreign objects get to their territory.

They may become aggressive and tend to bite more to defend themselves. But over time, your pet will get used to your scent even if it can’t see or hear you.

Hearing loss and sight in some white guinea pigs can change their learning ability. You will have to bear it and keep giving more attention to your disabled pet.

White Guinea Pig Health

Guinea pigs with white coats due to roan genes display some health problems. They are smaller in size, and some are born blind.

Adversely affected ones may have partial or complete deafness, missing or deformed teeth, and poor digestion systems.

White guinea pigs from roan genes or albinism have a shorter life expectancy than those with colored coats. They also need a lot of care to stay alive because of their vulnerability.

However, not all white guinea pigs have compromised health. Some are completely normal and can live the same as the colored ones.

White Guinea Pig Care

White guinea pigs survive on the same diet as piggies of colors. There should also be no change in the cage requirements. But since some are more vulnerable, they require more care than colored ones.

The white coat requires more attention than colored ones. However, that also depends on the length of the hair. You can have guinea pigs with long silky, wiry, or curly coats that require more grooming.

White guinea pigs may also require frequent bathing.

Some white guinea pigs are not protected by their coats without pigments. You need to provide more shades for such cavies. Don’t expose them to the sun. And if your piggies are blind, you need extra care to support them and provide for everything they need.

White Guinea Pig Lifespan

Normal guinea pigs can live for about 4-8 years, depending on the breed and health conditions. That is not the case with some white guinea pigs resulting from roan genes or albinism with a much shorter lifespan.

Albino white guinea pigs can live for about three years, while lethal white piggies have an even much shorter lifespan. They can survive for a few months or years.

You may need to take them to the vet more often than color-coated guinea pigs. Also, keep a good diet and remove everything that can cause stress.

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How Much Is a White Guinea Pig?

A guinea pig will cost about 10-40 dollars regardless of the coat color. If you are buying from a shelter, you may need to pay about $25 to help with the operational cost.

If you consider setting up the cage, buying grooming equipment and food, and acquiring bedding, you may pay between 100-150 dollars.

White guinea pigs are cute animals and worth every penny. But albino or lethal white may have additional expenses and may not be as playful as colored ones. If you don’t have the time, you may consider other options.

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Wrapping Up

Not all plain white guinea pigs are lethal or albino. Some may be caused by color dilution genes, while others are normal.

Guinea pigs with white coats due to compromised genes require more care and usually have a shorter life expectancy. If you have one, care for it as much as possible and take it to the vet more often.

Thank you for your time at Pestive. We are glad that you read this article and invite you to explore the site for related posts. Also, please share it with other pet fanciers in your cycle. 

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